Casa Colina’s ‘Tribute to Courage Gala’ to honor paralympic athlete, adaptive sports pioneer David Kiley
To honor the courage and perseverance of those recovering from traumatic injury and illness, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare will host its Tribute to Courage Gala Saturday, March 7, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona. Casa Colina’s largest fundraiser, this annual black-tie event attracts prominent figures from healthcare, entertainment, business and local government.
This year’s gala, titled “From Survival to Service,” honors David Kiley, the 13-time Paralympic medal recipient who led the Casa Colina Condors wheelchair basketball team to eight national championships throughout the 80s and 90s.
In the decades since sustaining his spinal cord injury, Mr. Kiley dedicated himself to playing, coaching and promoting adaptive and wheelchair sports, inspiring thousands of young para-athletes in the process and helping to pave the way for Casa Colina’s Outdoor Adventures program, now a hallmark of its continuum of care.
“Through his participation in adaptive sports like wheelchair basketball and adaptive skiing, David has been committed to helping others with disabilities grow and live life to the fullest,” said Felice L. Loverso, Casa Colina CEO and president. “I can’t think of an honoree who so embodies Casa Colina’s hope for its patients, which is full participation and enjoyment of life. David discovered that for himself and chose to share it with others, as a visionary, a player and a coach.”
This year’s event will also recognize other individuals who have undertaken a lifetime of service to those with traumatic injury. Guests of honor will include longtime Claremonter Hal Hargrave, Jr., a former Casa Colina patient who founded the Be Perfect Foundation to help others with spinal cord injury push their limits and maximize their recoveries; Col. (Ret.) Rocco Armonda, MD, FAANS, whose neurosurgery fieldwork in Iraq and Afghanistan advanced care techniques for the most severe battlefield head injuries; Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, a former patient of Dr. Armonda and Casa Colina who was combat-injured in Afghanistan and now shares his miraculous recovery story nationwide to inspire others with traumatic brain injury.
Actor, writer and director Bonnie Hunt returns this year to host the event.